More Access to Family Health Care Means Reduced Wait Times



    McGuinty Government Delivers Doctors For Additional 630,000 People

    TORONTO, July 2 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Ontario's plan to reduce emergency room wait times and increase access to
family health care is supported by the findings of a new report from the
Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).
    Released earlier today, the report concludes that not having a family
doctor leads to more emergency room visits for people who have chronic
diseases.
    On April 23rd, the government announced that improving access to family
health care and reducing emergency room wait times are its two most important
health care priorities over the next four years.
    The government made significant progress in increasing access to family
doctors in its first mandate. Since 2003, Ontario's family doctors have taken
on almost 630,000 patients who didn't previously have access to a doctor,
according to the Ontario Medical Association.

    QUOTES

    "This report shows that increasing access to family health care is the
key to reducing emergency room wait times," said David Caplan, Minister of
Health and Long-Term Care. "Our government has a plan to deliver more access
to community care so that people don't need to be unnecessarily admitted to
hospital. I would like to thank ICES for the report and look forward to an
ongoing working relationship with our partners in the medical field."

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -   A recent report from the Ontario Health Quality Council (OHQC)
        indicates that the number of adult Ontarians who want a family doctor
        but are unable to find one is down to 400,000.
    -   The Family Health Care strategy which offers Ontarians more access to
        non-emergency health care services includes:
    -   50 more Family Health Teams in addition to the 150 already created
    -   Removing barriers for internationally trained doctors
    -   25 nurse practitioner-led clinics
    -   Increasing medical school spaces by 37% from 2005 to 2011

    The Emergency Room strategy includes:
    -   Reducing the number of visits to emergency rooms
    -   Better management of chronic diseases, such as diabetes
    -   An Aging at Home Strategy that enables seniors to continue living in
        their homes
    -   More home care
    -   Improved community-based mental health and addiction treatment

    LEARN MORE

    Learn more about Ontario's comprehensive strategy
(http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/updates/archives/hu_08/health_care
_priorities_20080424.html) to improve access to care for all Ontarians.

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For further information:

For further information: Mark Nesbitt, Ministry of Health and Long-Term
Care, (416) 314-6197

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